Hate is Hate… Addendum to the Last Post

09 Mar

San Diego — Good grief… the virtual ink had not even dried from the previous post when I got a direct email attacking me for trying to “impose my morality” on the situation and the lady witness that started all of this.  I confess, some of you guys are incredibly good at being able to try to take attention from the real issues and force the discussion to something else.

This time it was accomplished by high centering on my use of the term “promiscuous” to describe the activity for which the contraceptives were being sought.  “How dare I use that term,” I was asked; and who was I to sit in judgment of her behavior?  I should apologize, I was told.  Well, I did no such thing and so I am not about to apologize.  But for the kool-aid addled among you I will explain it a little further.

First of all the term “promiscuity” is a word defining an abundance of casual sexual activity usually but not necessarily outside the bounds of a committed relationship or marriage.  It is not, to me at least, a value laden word, only a descriptive one and in that sense would appear to be accurate since the witness openly told the officials she needed contraception to the tune of about $1,000.00 over the span of law school.  At about $10.00 per month through Planned Parenthood, that amount covers far more than the typically three years of Law School even at one of the most prestigious and expensive law schools in the country.

However I did just look the word up and one of the definitions includes the word “indiscriminate” in choice of partners.  i know we now use the term discriminate at peril but I think it is a good word referring to making carefully analysis and choosing right from wrong.  In the case at hand I did not mean that particular definition since I assume someone going to Georgetown would be very discriminating in chosing partners based on class and social standing appropriate to their own agendas and future plans.  To the extent that I opened the door for those of you needing to choose the worst possible definition then I do apologize since I meant the term only in a quantitative senses not a qualitative sense.

But under any possible definition or even throwing the term out altogether, here is the bottom line: she is saying that someone other than herself needs to foot the bill so she can have protected sex and have a high statistical probability of not getting pregnant.

I have no moral issue here, no ethical dog in the fight.  Quite to the contrary, I like sex and think it is a wonderful thing.  I would rather have people engaged in consensual recreational sex than in fighting and killing each other.  When I was in college I would surely have been considered “promiscuous” by the same criteria I use here.  It simply means I had a fair amount of sex.  Period.  Moreover I am in favor of her not being pregnant since I do not think she exhibited the maturity a child deserves in a parent so I applaud her desire to use contraceptives.  But that is not the issue either.

That sex to which she is referring is recreational.  Good for her; I think people have a right to engage in it recreationally just as they have a right to go to a movie or see a play or go camping or just sit at home and rent something to show on the TV.  What they do in the privacy of their own space, so long as they are not hurting someone else or forcing themselves on someone else, is their own private business and does not, in my belief system, even bump into issues of my own sense of morality or my business.

However, what DOES bump into my business is when I am being asked to help pay for it.  Most recreational activities have some obvious foreseeable economic impact, i.e. they cost the participants something to engage in them.  Tickets for the movies, gas for the country drive, food at a restaurant.   Sex is no different, especially at that age.  To be safe or elude pregnancies mean buying some sort of product to address that.  If the product fails, which is not all that uncommon, or if it was not used in the first place, then a foreseeable outcome is a pregnancy and that most certainly has an economic impact whether it is terminated or carried to term. An unexpected but easily foreseeable outcome these days is some STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) that is clearly a potential uninvited guest to every such intimate get-together.

Because those obvious and predictable costs stem from a voluntary, recreational activity, I do not believe it falls to me, as a taxpayer, to pick up some or all of the tab.  I think that cost is ALL on the participants.  That someone CHOSE not to protect themselves or neglected to protect themselves from any of the possible outcomes does not raise in me, directly or indirectly, a requirement to foot the bill.

And as far as government is concerned, I do not think it is any of their business either; and I mean that totally.  I do not think it within the power and authority of government to prohibit or forbid those activities.  But neither do I think it within their Constitutional authority to facilitate it and ask us to pay for the outcome.  However, that is not a moral objection, it is a philosophical and political objection, an economic objection to thinking it OK to ask me to pay for someone else’s choices and voluntary behaviors.  I am opposed to that.

But that is a completely different issue from whether or not it is ever OK to hurl spiteful, hurtful, demeaning invectives at someone simply because you are in political disagreement and that was the ONLY issue addressed in the post on Hatred.

So c’mon, get over it!  Either deal with the real issue and decide if you are OK with the use of hate speech so long as it is your side doing it, or not.  And then openly say so and support your opinion as I have tried to support mine and then we’ll let readers judge for themselves.  If you want to address and debate those other issues that is fine, I’ll be happy to do so.  But they are separate ones for other posts and discussions.

So first, answer the question posed here and do it publicly for all to see as I have expressed my opinion publicly.  Stand proudly for what you think is right and wrong or sit down and shut up when you become a target.


Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


7 responses to “Hate is Hate… Addendum to the Last Post

  1. ellen

    March 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Re: “I do not believe it falls to me, as a taxpayer, to pick up some or all of the tab.”

    Remember that this issue is whether or not it should be covered by health insurance. There’s nothing in the debate so far as to whether it should be paid for by government. So you could rephrase the statement this way: “I do not believe it falls to me as another member of that health insurance coverage to pick up some or all of the tab.”

    What about Viagra, by the way. Do you object to picking up the tab for that?

    Other points:

    Not every woman can take a standard birth control pill. In fact, many cannot. For many it has to be specially prescribed, and it costs a lot more than a standard birth control pill. So all your estimates on the amount of sex are, shall we say “unresearched”?

    Pills are not the only method of birth control for women. There are diaphrams and IUDs and procedures (tubal ligation), all of which cost considerably more than $10 a month.

    And, I suppose birth control for males is relatively expensive, since it involves an expense every single time (unless there is a procedure).

    So, all of your estimates of costs are, well, shall we say “unresearched?”

    Also, she said, and it is true, that these days birth control pills are prescribed for things other than birth control. She gave an actual example of a woman with a cyst on an ovary that required birth control pills–and apparently expensive ones, specially prescribed for the hormonal balance in this case–and the woman was not able to get those pills and so the cyst got worse and the ovary had to be removed.

    Second, shockingly enough, the use of birth control REDUCES ABORTIONS, and reducing abortions is a good thing. The use of birth control also reduces the medical expense of having children. Now children are good things, of course. But we are simply discussing costs and benefits here. If an insurance company has to pay, say, $300 a year in birth control pills, and that saves it, whatever the cost of prenatal care and delivery expense and postnatal care comes to, say, $5,000, then it and all the people who pay insurance premiums have saved money.

    Ah, but you still say that that is paying for sex.

    Well, I suppose it is, but then what is paying for Viagra for (and insurance companies do cover it)?

    Moreover, the battle is lost. Men and women too will have sex, and not only when they want to have children.

    To be sure, I agree that it is not necessary for birth control to be part of health insurance. People can and should pay for it themselves. But that is a libertarian view.

    An anti-abortion view should be: “birth control reduces abortion. We should be for it.” And a person who wants to reduce the cost of health care should be for it too because, heck, pills and condoms save thousands of dollars over the cost of babies, and babies will always be covered under health care, and if you are covered in that insurance you must pay for them.

    And, I certainly believe that if birth control pills are used in a particular situation where they are prescribed in order to reduce the chance of cysts, they should not be treated as birth control.

    Since male birth control has the side effect of reducing venereal disease it is of course a health benefit and, for that matter, healthy. Why shouldn’t it be paid for by the health insurance? (And, if males, then….)

    Should religious groups be forced to pay for it? As I understand it, the requirements have never included religious groups, only organizations that are funded by religious groups, such as universities and hospitals. Not churches themselves in other words. The next question can these organizations, like other businesses and organizations be forced to pay for health insurance at all? The Supreme Court will soon short that out. But in my opinion, if a person can be drafted and sent to war, then an organization can be forced to buy health insurance.

    Focusing only on male birth control and its benefits in preventing vendereal disease, it seems to be like a medicine in some ways. It would be short-sighted to not encourage its use, and illogical since it has a health benefit.

    Should men or women who have a lot of sex be called names? It is probably a dated habit, and it could be expensive to the person who does it. After all, calling people names–when they aren’t in the public eye like politicians and actors–is libelous, and you could get sued for it, or for slander or defamation. If I were this woman’s lawyer, I would certainly recommend suing, despite the apologies because she is not a public figure (testifying once before Congress does not make that change). It is difficult to win such lawsuits, but heck they have the benefit of making people careful about what they say.

    • ndking

      March 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Very good! I love it when you join in. By the way i hope you read the note I tried to send to you but ended up having to add as a comment.

      First of all, i agree that this should be about insurance if it were about health care but i still think it is at its core about federal power and alas, regardless, the feds seem to want to control that too and tell insurers what they must cover. Since such coverage as defined in the bill will cost more than the companies will get, in the end it comes to the same, we the taxpayers will pick up the slack via subsidies. Now, if it does not come to that, and if there is absolutely no cost to the taxpayers, and i mean NONE, not a dime, then I would happily concede that insurance companies should be free to make their offers across state lines and let the market decide whose policies sell best and let the others fail. But under no circumstances do i feel it falls on me to be required, as a matter of federal law to pay for others and I do not believe the Constitution requires it under the commerce clause. But we are about to see that resolved, at least for the time being so then we will likely have something interesting to debate.

      if this WERE the issue at hand then my position would be as follows. if an individual wants to pay for the coverage that includes contraceptions or for that matter viagra, I think they have the right to do that. But i do not believe they have the right to ask me to share that cost. This is not a male vs female issue with me, it is an issue of whether i believe the government has the constitutional authority to make me pay toward ANY other individual’s health care but especially for a coverage for voluntary activities. i chose my own coverage knowing that some things would have to come out of my own pocket if they happened. If they do then, as i have done before, I will take care of it. I do not want my health care rates to go up so other individuals can get covered for recreational aids whether contraception of viagra. Let them add those things to their coverage and pay the rates accordingly. if I want viagra I expect to have to pay for it.

      You seem to make the assumption that I am anti-choice. That is not true, I believe the choice for an abortion is one between the woman, the father, and their faith if they have any. I simply do not believe the government has any business in that area of our lives, either to prohibit it or to facilitate it. I do not believe the government is in business to “do good.” It is in the sole business of protecting the country and our freedoms. Ddoing good works is a mission for individuals and organizations designed for that purpose. The powers of the president and the congress is very specifically itemized and this isn’t one of them.

      Some freedoms we enjoy come at personal expense. We CHOSE to do them or not. Simply because we have that freedom of choice held out to us does not, in my opinion, relieve us of the responsibility to pay for them ourselves if we chose to partake of them. That is true of unspecified freedoms but i think it is also true of specified ones. Under the constitution i have the right to own a gun but nowhere does it say the governmnent has to buy one for me. i have the right to peaceably (meaning lawfully using the 18th century meaning of that word) assemble but it does not say the government has a duty to pay for my costs of doing so or to cover the fees that are required in some jurisdictions. So the idea that i have a perfect right to do something does not, in and of itself, convey the idea that I can shirk the personal responsibility to pay for it myself. Especially when I am also free to NOT do it. Remember the old lawschool dictum, “I have a perfecrt right to swing my arm but that right stops at the end of your nose?” And if i do not stop short of your nose, I will have to pay for the exercise of that freedom. I honestly see little or no difference here.

      if the medication has multiple uses, and it is presecribed for a medical condition then, as i said, if the health coverage includes that condition then it should be covered. But i have a problem with the idea that i can go in, already with a problem, and force a company to cover that at the sames rates as if it befell me later out of the blue. This is a personal issue for me since i came out of the military with some major osteopathic issues and was commonly turned down for coverage except at higher rates. THat was an economic problem but still made perfgect sense to me. i cannot wait until my house burns down and THEN expect to get fire insurace to cover that. I can’t wait until my car is damaged in an accident to get coverage and expect the insurance ot fix that. I honestly do not see the difference with health insurance. We have a very specific unalienable right to life, but the government is not in charge of keeping us from dying.

      There are unintended consequences to nearly everything we do and some of them create expenses we did not anticipate either; but it is not the government, meaning the other taxpayers) who should have to pick up the tab for it.

      Your analogy re organizations and drafting is a good one and on target. Of course at the moment we do not have the draft but personally i think that is a mistake. Nevertheless, even so, the military allows for conscientous objectors to not have to do the part which is morally repugnant to them. Following your argument, which i agree with by the way, then the organization should not be forced to do that which is morally repugnant. if the situation were such that students were forced to attend a specific school or people forced by the feds to work at a specific job, then i would agree with you but they are not.

      Likewise, encouraging the use of something good for you is one thing. But forcing others to pay for it is, for me, quite another. i take vitamins because they are good for me but i would never expect someone else to have to buy it for me. I am about to go in for a shoulder replacement and already have lost both knees to the military. I chose the health plan that covers such things or could use the VA whose services I feel I paid dearly for. But if it was not there i still do not believe someone else should have to pay for my surgery. I have had a number of medical issues when working for myself with minimum coverage, for which, in some cases, it took years to pay off. But i never ever thought it was someone else’s job and not the government’s job to take care of those costs or of me for that matter. I guess the bottom line for me, and where we may truly differ, is that i do not believe health care is one of those natural rights covered in the Constitution and that while I believe strongly in health insurance, I believe it is not a government’s role to provide it.

      Perhaps in many ways that is a more libertarian view, at least on thses issues. So what? i think only the brain dead fall into lock step march with the platforms of one party or another across the board. To me the world is far too complex for that simplistic view whether it is capitalist or socialist in framing. i think our world has changed and those time worn views have not kept up.

      But of course that all totally evades the main question of both articles? I don’t care if it is legal to call people names, i care whether you or the readers think it is right to do so. And if we think not, why do we sit silently by? It is that issue that got me started on this. I’m sorry but i have to go dress for dinner or would love to continue. Besides it is probably time to turn it back over to you.

  2. ndking

    March 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    OK Ellen, here is a challenge. We obviously are on opposing sides of this issue. But lets say we were legislators. Instead of focussing on those elements that separate us at the moment, do you think we could find any common ground from which we could grow a policy. As it grew it might require me to compromise a little and you to compromise a little, but could we do it? i think the answer is yes. and i think perhaps it would be a good model for those dysfunctional reprobates now pretending to be legislators.

    What do you think?

  3. ellen

    March 12, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Re: “But under no circumstances do i feel it falls on me to be required, as a matter of federal law to pay for others and I do not believe the Constitution requires it under the commerce clause. ”

    And: “lets say we were legislators. Instead of focussing on those elements that separate us at the moment, do you think we could find any common ground from which we could grow a policy?”

    Yes. If there were 30 million people without health insurance, and the goal was to get everyone to have health insurance, that would be a way to start.

    The US Supreme Court may in fact find the way that you hold, that you do not have to pay for those 30 million. On the other hand, it may find the other way. As I said, compulsion is part of what governments are all about. I think I read somewhere that in the colonies or the early states if the government wanted to build a road, you had to work on it or pay for a substitute.

    • ndking

      March 12, 2012 at 9:10 am

      OK, so long as we understand that it may be — MAY BE — a viable social wish for everyone to have health insurance, then let’s start from that. I do not think that goal is within a Federal government’s authority under the constitution so the question for me would be how to accomplish it anyway. I think a first step is to accept that if, in fact, the society as a whole believes that and would support efforts in that direction, by working within the existing capitalist framework, we should force insurance companies to become truly competitive by allowing not just intra-state, but insisting on inter-state offering of their products. As it is now they can keep prices high and competition low by not, in many cases, allowing inter-state offerings. And then to help them keep their payout costs reasonable I would put a cap on malpractice cases and also mandate a “loser pays” system vis-a-vis court and attorney fees unless the judge of the case, on a case-by-case basis, decrees the case not to be spurious.

      I believe those moves, all within Capitalist tenets and covered by Constitutional writing would start lowering costs making the insurance more affordable.

      i would not blanket cover pre-existing conditions but create a progressive rate for them that lowers premiums if not used or perhaps a descending deduction for them. That way the individual cannot play the system but can still get coverage.

      And then I would look at the realities of the national budget. So far, none of those actions above have a national budget impact but though i think they will go a long way toward lowering costs it still does not address the truly helpless who were blindsided by life. To me that does not include those whose voluntary actions have put them in a sorry state; I’ve not asked others to pay for my mistakes, which have been legion so I do not want to pay for theirs. But many have arrived in desperate straights through no voluntary actions of their own and i think we ought to be able to help them IF WE CAN. If the budget surplus beyond the very specific mandates spelled out in the constitution allows then those below a specified minimum income could qualify for government help with premiums for health insurance on a sliding scale basis.

      But i do not believe the government has the authority to declare health insurance mandatory should someone choose not to have it. But by the same token, if that individual opts out, then i do not believe the government owes them a penny towards any needed health care, emergency or not. Health providers will always provide emergency care, i know i’ve had some. But though it took a while, I have always paid for it and i think others should too. It was my choice to not have the coverage so it was my responsibility to find a way to pay for care that may have saved my life. No one else bore that responsibility, only me. And i feel that way about others as well.

      I also would encourage (but not support governmentally) charitable organizations that offer assistance to the people who cannot help themselves. I do not believe it takes even the tiniest of steps toward establishing a state religion to encourage various faith based organizations to follow the tenets of their own teachings and help the helpless sometimes by the simple expedient of getting out of their way.

      So with that as my opening salvo, but an expressed willingness to find solutions, let me hand the ball back to you.

  4. ellen

    March 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Re: “the military allows for conscientous objectors to not have to do the part which is morally repugnant to them. ”

    That is a good analogy.

    Let me ask whether the organization is the few men and women who are its managers, or is it ALL the stockholders and all the employees?

    If it is really the latter, then only by secret ballot of all those people who are involved can it be decided that birth control, or whatever, is morally repugnant. I think it would be difficult for those who are opposed to birth control to win that vote.

    • ndking

      March 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

      I think it depends on the nature of the organization. if it is a sole proprietorship, a privately held business then to me it is the former. if it is a true “C” Corporation, a public entity, it is the stockholders and if they voted for birth control I think that ends it, they win. I have zero problem with that. My problem is with federal government mandates into areas i do not believe are properly within their purview.

      “Ellen” I’ve given this a lot of thought over the weekend and truly have come to a problem not amenable to a simple solution, at least not one that leaps out at me. first, my position remains unchanged that taxpayers owe nothing to anyone to facilitate voluntary recreational activities of any kind. But I’ve now spoken to a lot of women and now accept that often a real medical condition exists which responds to medications that happen to have, as a side effect (if you will) a contraceptive characteristic. Those medications are not now separately labelled based on intended usage so the issue gets cloudy for me.

      I have absolutely no problem with insurance covering either so long as my premiums do not reflect payments for recreation. But agree that they might and perhaps should reflect coverage for medications for true medical conditions. i do not know how to separate those two uses for the same medications but for me it is an important distinction.

      I do understand that it may seem like a meaningless distinction to you. But it is not to me. to try to resolve it I’ve even scheduled some time with a friend of mine who is a family practice doctor and female… and Catholic, to discuss the issue and with a nurse practitioner friend of mine as well.

      You were right, i did not research the costs well because that was not the point of the argument i was making, only that birth control was available through at least one outlet cheaply and did check the local facilities for their charges. And, regardless of the costs, if used for true medical conditions it ought to be covered but it surely has been out long enough now to have generic versions which ought to help.

      And sadly, NO ONE has weighed in on the real question i asked about the propriety of scurrilous, hateful, demeaning language and terms against women based on their political agreement with the speaker. So I have to assume, and this truly does not sit well with me, that readers feel it is OK. Let me be as clear as possible here: I do not think it is OK, not ever. This is not Islam, consequently women are not chattel, they are not property to be dealt with or disposed of as if they were. We argue the dehumanizing effects of pornography but I have to tell you, using the terms of the porn industry as labels and implied accusations against women solely because of a difference in political orientation is worse in my opinion. it is not illegal, but it is sleazy, low class, and reveals a lack of character and integrity that is nothing short of shameful and despicable.


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